Common Procedures

Take a look at our most common procedures to get you a beautiful smile!

Regular Exams and Cleanings

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:

  • Check for underlying issues
  • Detect cavities or other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough teeth cleaning

Your regular exam will take approximately 45 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, where we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque buildup on the tooth's surface.

Remember, visit us every 6 months to maintain a beautiful smile!

Bonding

Dental bonding is a great way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. A white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your tooth, and closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

Tooth bonding can also be used for tooth-colored fillings instead of silver amalgam. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because of its visually undetectable white color. Bonded fillings can be used on front or back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.

Bridges

Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth, helps maintain the shape of your face, and alleviates stress on bite pressure.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap in that area. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

The success of any bridge depends on its foundation: neighboring teeth, gums, or bone where it is attached. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw strong and healthy.

Crowns

Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape and durability. You may be a good candidate for crowns if you have broken, worn-down, or parts of your teeth damaged by decay.  

A dental crown is a “cap” that is cemented onto an existing tooth and covers your tooth above the gum line. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are often preferred because they mimic the appearance of natural teeth.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when your tooth lacks support to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements can function like normal.

Dentures

Dentures are a great, removable way to replace missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are provided to patients when all of their natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame and connected to your natural teeth to fill in the space where permanent teeth have been removed.

Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be properly cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures and always keep them moist when they’re not in use. Make to keep your tongue and gums clean as well!

Extractions

There are times in particular where a tooth must be extracted. Sometimes, a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out properly. Therefore, the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.

Other times, a tooth may have an excess of decay that puts the surrounding teeth at-risk of damage.In that case, your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth may require tooth extractions.

Your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may request another visit for this procedure. Each tooth root is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket” and the socket is held into place by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament. We recommend sharing with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

Fillings

Fillings are used to restore a damaged tooth due to damage or tooth decay.Silver amalgam is the most common because of its durability and ability to withstand strong bite and chewing forces.

Modern-day fillings comprise ceramic or plastic material that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. This material is also known as composite resin, and is used both on the front and back of the teeth depending on the extent and location of tooth decay.

There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers.Indirect fillings are best used for damaged teeth to support a filling but not enough to maintain a crown.  

Flouride

Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by reducing plaque build-up. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After treatment, patients will be directed to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes.This helps your teeth better absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or twelvemonths.

Implant Restoration

If you have missing teeth. You may need an implant restoration to replace them. Without all of your teeth, you may experience shifting teeth and premature aging. Implants combine metal and porcelain material that looks like your natural teeth.

Implants are composed of two main parts: the titanium implant body that replaces the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant.

In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures. This is ideal for lower dentures that tend to shift when talking or chewing. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth, for a more natural-looking smile.

Mouthguards

If you participate in any kind of full-contact sport, the American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist.

The most important part of choosing the right mouth guard, is one that is comfortable, tear-resistant, breathable, and easy to take care of. Your dentist can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.

Nightguards

If you often wake up with jaw pain, headaches, or clenched teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people do not even know they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.

There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time. Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch to prevent contact with neighboring teeth.

Root Canals

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp and cause an infection inside the tooth. If the infected tissue is not removed, you may experience pain and swelling.

Root canal treatment involves 1-3 visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in issues related to the nerves of the teeth) removes the infected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. With regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene, you can expect your teeth to be healthy for a long time!

Sealants

Sealants provide an extra means of protection for your teeth against decay and cavities. Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden deep into our teeth’s natural grooves.After your tooth is sealed, your chances are less likely for plaque build up causing gum disease.

Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. Sealants typically last 3-5 years, by maintaining a healthy diet and scheduling appointments to re-seal the area.

Veneers

Veneers easily correct crooked, misshapen, or discolored teeth to achieve a confident and beautiful smile. Veneers resemble your natural teeth and they are perfect for patients wanting to make minor adjustments to the appearance of their smile.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells created from tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain). They are specifically designed to cover the front layer of your teeth. To prepare custom veneers, your doctor will create a unique model of your teeth. This model is sent to a dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your doctor may need to prepare your tooth to achieve the desired aesthetic result.

While veneers are stain-resistant, your doctor may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your new smile.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a set of molars located in the back of your mouth. Typically appearing in the late teens or early twenties, wisdom teeth may become impacted due to lack of space in the mouth. If the wisdom tooth is impacted, it needs to be removed. If left untreated, gum tenderness or severe pain may begin to set in.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during the late teens or early twenties, because the teeth’s roots have not fully formed, and the surrounding bone is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as minimize the recovery time.

In order to remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist numbs the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be located under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will remove a portion of the bone to extract the tooth.

In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening. Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

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